In part four of our travelling staff series, Tricia talks about her travels through China. The land of the ‘unexpected’ – a vast and complex country with many layers of culture, political upheaval and history and amazing contrasts of ultra modern mega cities and beautiful idyllic wilderness.
Visiting China for 3 weeks only scratches the surface of this nation of friendly and inquisitive people we gave it our best shot visiting of the most well-known sites.
First stop was the walled city of Xian. Xian typifies China with its mix of ancient architecture, culture and antiquities contrasting with the modern business and hotel districts. Followed by Beijing, including the Olympic village and a number of amazing cultural shows combining Chinese acrobatics, humour and culture with wonderful banquets. Treasures such as the Terracotta Warriors, The Great Wall of China, The Forbidden City, Tai Chi in the park, the Winter Palace and so much more were explored and climbed and photographed! Our Library travel guide was invaluable for locating many of these sites.She recites a hilarious misunderstanding on her last day:
Our guide in China was a lovely, friendly man called Sandy ( his western name) who promised to give us a special present at the end.
What could we give him in return that wasn’t the usual kangaroo or koala made in China? I decided we should give Sandy my tube of Vegemite which, I have to travel with no matter how far that may be. It was a sacrifice I was prepared to make to ensure our gift was of a comparable nature and cultural significance to the one he’d no doubt provide us.
Sandi was gracious in his acceptance and promptly proceeded to smear it all over his arms, face and neck. “It’s a sunscreen right?”
If we had to choose just one adjective to describe our China adventure I think it would be unexpected. Unexpectedly easy to travel within, organised, beautiful, charming, contrasting and comfortable. The people are friendly, knowledgeable, more open than we expected in discussing Chinese politics and we felt very lucky and privileged to have had even this small trip to such a great destination.
The Library has a range of travel guides for China, from basic overviews, to guide on Beijing, Shanghai and Xian specifically. We also have heaps of DVDs on this region too!
Stay tuned for next travel post when we go Island hopping!